Protest Against Contract Provision

B-207098: May 25, 1982

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A former air traffic controller who participated in the 1981 strike against the Federal Government protested the provision contained in both an Air Force invitation for bids and a request for proposals which prohibited employing any of the former striking controllers. The individual contended that the provision denied him the opportunity to seek employment, which constituted blacklisting in violation of the law, and he requested that, until various legal proceedings challenging this prohibition could be decided, GAO prevent the award of Federal contracts which include this provision. To adequately protect the procurement process, bid protest procedures have limited those parties eligible to protest the award of a contract to interested parties, such as disappointed bidders or offerors. The individual did not indicate that he was interested in competing for the contracts; rather, he was apparently concerned about the loss of employment opportunities and about the legality of the Government's actions. GAO held that, since the individual did not qualify as an interested party and the issue of the dismissals was under consideration by the appropriate forums, bid protest procedures precluded consideration of the protest. GAO acknowledged the individual's request to restrain Federal contracts with this provision, but noted that injunctive relief can only be granted by the Federal courts. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.